There are few instruments available that claim to measure emotional intelligence and that have established validity and reliability among psychologists. At our career center we are currently using the Bar-On EQ-i, an appropriate instrument for the multi-cultural and multi-ethnic, missionary, and seminarian clients we serve.

The developer of the Bar-On EQ-i, Dr. Reuven Bar-On, is a clinical psychologist. The EQ-i is the result of almost two decades of research on emotional intelligence, using international and cross-cultural samples. The instrument was officially introduced in 1996 at the American Psychological Association Annual Convention in Toronto, Ontario and was further publicized in 1997 at the APA meeting in Chicago, Illinois. It consists of 133 brief items. Responses to the questions are indicated according to a five-point response format ranging from “not true of me” to “true of me.” The untimed test takes about half an hour to complete, and is suitable for persons 16 years of age and up. It is available in an individual format and also in a form using a 360-degree assessment process with peers and colleagues. The test yields four validity scale scores, a total EQ score, five composite scale scores (conceptual components of emotional and social intelligence), and fifteen EQ subscale scores. The five conceptual components are:

  1. intrapersonal (self-awareness, understanding one’s emotions, and assertiveness);
  2. interpersonal (empathy, concern for others, ability to establish close relationships);
  3. adaptability (ability to reality test one’s feelings, to perceive immediate situations, to change personal thoughts and feelings);
  4. stress management (ability to cope with stress, to control/re-channel strong feelings);
  5. general mood (ability for optimism, for enjoyment of self and of social situations, and to feel and embody happiness).

The test is available to those certified by the publisher, Multi-Health Systems, Inc., P.O. Box 950, North Tonawanda, NY 14120-0950;; phone (800) 456-3003. A several-day EQ-i training and certification workshop is available through the publisher.

Another good instrument currently in use is the Emotional Competence Inventory (ECI), developed by Daniel Goleman. It draws substantially on items from an older tool created by Richard Boyatzis: the Self-Assessment Questionnaire (SAQ). The ECI is a 110-item instrument that takes about 35 minutes to complete. It has been designed as a development tool, and should not be used to make hiring or promotion decisions. The ECI gathers ratings from oneself, subordinates, peers, and supervisors, utilizing a six-point self-rating scale. It yields scores on 20 social and emotional competence scales. Incorporated into the test are tipping points—scores which, when surpassed, indicate superior competence on the job. It is available from Hay Resources Direct,; phone (800) 729-8074.

These tests are best administered and interpreted by accredited professionals. A discussion of the results should follow, with the expectation that an individual learning plan might emerge to assist further personal growth.